If you’ve noticed some blood in the sink when you brush or that your gums feel tender or look red, those could be early signs of periodontal disease. Your teeth might even look a little longer than usual because of some gum recession. If any of these cases apply to you, you may be in need of periodontal therapy.
“Periodontal” refers to the gums, generally. When plaque and tartar build-up on the teeth, they can cause cavities. When they do their damage along the gum line, the result is gum disease. Periodontal therapy aims to reverse the damage by removing the pockets of tartar and bacteria that have collected and shrink the periodontal pockets, returning the teeth and gums to health.
This procedure is also called a deep cleaning because, similar to a routine dental cleaning, it involves the removal of plaque and tartar from the teeth. The difference is that, in this procedure, the area below the gum line is also cleaned. The root surfaces are then planed (smoothed) to make it more difficult for plaque to build up again.
Using a laser for deep cleaning results in a more efficient treatment. Because the laser cauterizes tissue upon contact, there is less bleeding and discomfort. This means that sutures won’t be needed at the end of treatment. Additionally, soft tissue laser therapy can be used for other gum treatments, such as gum tissue recontouring/crown lengthening. The precision offered by the laser allows the dentist to retain more healthy soft tissue than with traditional tools. Discomfort, teeth sensitivity, and treatment time are all reduced with soft tissue laser therapy.
This is not actually a standalone treatment, but is meant to be used in conjunction with a scaling/root planing and soft tissue laser therapy. Using antibiotics helps the dentist to more effectively target bacteria that may have been left behind during other procedures. Using antibiotics allows dentists to be as thorough as possible, removing all bacteria and tartar in order to eliminate the source of infection and prevent future infections.